… Space. Function. Interaction. Technology. Structure. History. Buildings. Innovation. Collaboration. Responsibility. Bullshit. People. Walls. Art. Science. Beauty. Subjective. Objective. Fun. Engaging. Design. A Process. Alive. Dead. Fabrication. Evolution. Form. A Way of Thinking. Problem Solving…
Architecture means many things to many people, which is a direct reflection of the complexity, interest, and significance of the discipline.
The definition of architecture is a difficult one; it’s an art and a science that involves, at its most basic level, the designing and construction of buildings. However, architecture spans more than just the built environment. To say one is an architect, limits in some regard, the extent of what the person being called an architect is capable of doing. The word has lost fervor over the past couple of years, as the unlearnt person now thinks of an architect as only someone who designs buildings.
So, what is architecture?
architecture is EVOLUTION.
While the tools and styles of architecture have changed throughout time, concepts have not. The architecture of today exists as a response or reaction to everything that came before it. From early grass huts to modern skyscrapers, the architecture of ancient times is distinctively different from the architecture of today, yet ultimately rooted in the same basic principles. Architecture, like fashion, has trends that come and go such as the use of ornament or the expression of form. These trends, although not always well received or understood, represent a piece of history that informs were buildings will go next. Architecture is an ever-evolving process that has a significant impact on how people use the spaces in which they live their everyday lives.
architecture is PEOPLE.
Architecture creates spaces for human habitation, generally designed to meet the needs of a specific user. It concentrates on the needs of people. Whether it is simple shelter from a passing storm or a stadium for thousands of spectators, good design knows what it is going to be used for and does it well.
architecture is TECHNOLOGY.
Overtime, the styles of architecture will change, as well as the tools and technology used to achieve those styles. Technology has become increasingly important in the architecture profession, particularly today. Notable architecture uses the newest technology to accomplish its objectives. Architects should not shy away from incorporating new techniques in their buildings or their drawing conventions. Whether architects are harnessing reinforced concrete or the computer algorithm, we should always be learning and pushing the limits of what we know to work.
architecture is COLLABORATION.
The main issue that architecture faces today is perhaps the disconnect that exists between it and the craftsmen that contribute to the realization of a building. The architect and engineer work together and then the project is handed over to the contractor for interpretation. What happens with this model is a lot of errors, which affects cost among other things. The use of new softwares, model simulations and CNC machines is one of the ways architects are now bridging the gap that has existed between envisioned designs and actual built structure; between designer and contractor/builder.
Digital fabrication and BIM technologies are the mediator, so it is crucial for anyone interested in architecture to understand the roles they play. They bring together all the key players involved in building design, architects, engineers, builders, fabricators etc. at the early stage of design. This is essential as there are little or no disconnects in the dialogue. The final built structure can be very close to the envisioned design, with little or no changes after construction documents have been done.
architecture is BEAUTIFUL.
Good architecture is beautiful. While the word can mean many things to different people, beauty in architecture can be viewed as something done well. Beauty in architecture goes beyond a pleasing appearance, but is achieved when needs are met, values are reflected and technology is celebrated.
architecture is OBJECTIVE.
Architecture, like the visual arts, and like beauty is not subjective. It isn’t a simple matter of “I like it or I don’t like it.” The learnt mind will always think that the architecture that is good, is beautiful. How can one tell if the architecture is beautiful? If the built structure follows the basic tenets of good design, balance, symmetry (or asymmetry), order, sequence, use of texture, colors etc. then the architecture is beautiful. Not based on a thinking that is influenced by past experiences and ideologies learnt from the context of which one is brought up; the institutions. The institutions that influence our ideologies include, family, friends, school, religion etc. It isn’t until one frees themselves of these institution, that you can begin to understand the intricacy that is involved in interpreting architecture as a work of art, as beautiful. It is objective, at least, good architecture is.
architecture is SUBJECTIVE.
Although there are certain principles that are supposed to be inherent in good design, there is a consistent struggle to define what is good or right. Cultures, values and morals have a great impact on how people live and think, as well as how they interpret architecture. It is very possible, and common, for one individual to have an opinion about the quality of a piece of architecture that is vastly different from the opinion of another.
architecture is A CONSTANT SEARCH TO DEFINE AND REDEFINE ITSELF.